Car owners looking to own of the limited 500 Mini E electric vehicles that are going towards production in California will have to pay a high price for the opportunity. Aside from the restricted volume production, the technology itself is revolutionary, and even the $850 monthly pricing is insufficient to cover the actual costs of the cars' development and manufacture.
Even as raw value may not be a highlight in the Mini E, at least at this early phase in its lifecycle, the car does provide a robust performance package for a multi-purpose EV. With an estimated range of 150mi (240km) on a 2.5-hour charge, add to that a peppy acceleration and highway-speed capability, the Mini E should prove a reasonable companion. Fuel savings will offset the lease price to a degree, although the latest drop in gasoline prices in the U.S. has lessened that advantage to some extent.
A standard Mini Cooper would cost about $350 for a 24-month lease, or almost $800 for a theoretical 12-month lease, although Mini's briefest available term for its standard vehicles is currently 24 months. And in California, where image is everything, the value of an electric Mini Cooper cannot be measured.
Luxevelocity reports that limitations as to where the Mini E can be kept and charged will also be a consideration in the leases. Mini rules and guidelines will permit "only lockable garages or similar buildings" to serve as home bases or power stations for the car. Unique maintenance requirements and charges will also apply, but are only laid bare upon agreement to the terms of the lease. [source luxvelocity]